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WHAT’S THAT NOISE? by Michelle Edwards


by Michelle Edwards & Phyllis Root & illustrated by Paul Meisel

Age Range: 5 - 7

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-7636-1350-9
Publisher: Candlewick

Brothers band together at bedtime in this reassuring take on a familiar theme. As soon as the lights go down, a tree limb throws threatening shadows across the floor, a toy dinosaur takes on a menacing aspect, and worst of all, the night is filled with mysterious WHOOSHes and HOOs. Little Ben begs big brother Alex in the other bed to come over and sing him a song. The thought of crossing a cold, dark floor where “something might grab his feet” and “something might bite his toes” has Alex clutching his teddy bear—but when Ben suddenly goes quiet, he has to investigate. Meisel depicts the brothers from high angles, moving in to show anxious faces, then panning back for a view of the shadowy (but not very dark) room. Alex finds Ben hiding under the blanket, crawls in to join him, and sings a made-up song: “WHOOSH goes the wind, AROO goes a dog. . . .” Even the dinosaur’s smiling in the final scene. Unlike William Carman’s What’s That Noise? (p. 802), there are no scary imaginary monsters here to leap out at viewers, nor is a child made to confront night fears alone—and the idea that even older sibs aren’t immune to those fears may make susceptible younger ones feel better. (Picture book. 5-7)